Our Culture

An Open Letter from our Director and President

Multiple acts fueled by racism in 2020 have heightened our awareness that America has a long way to go before we become a truly equal society. Our words cannot resolve the damage of centuries of systemic racism, discrimination, and bias, and we are frustrated we cannot immediately implement widespread reform. Collectively, however, our research community can take part in important changes to make the world a safer and more equitable place.

We reaffirm our commitment toward justice and equality for a better future. Science, along with society, needs to step up. This includes our continued efforts in creating, and maintaining, an inclusive, safe, and equal environment for everyone at Monell. We can do this by increasing the dialogue and awareness of issues of inequality in science, but promoting these same values in the greater Philadelphia community.

We have started this process through the Monell Respectful Workplace and Diversity Committees to bring these ideals to the forefront and brainstorm ways to be agents of positive change.

Bob Margolskee, MD, PhD
Director and President, Monell Center

More About Our Initiatives

Respectful Workplace Committee
The Respectful Workplace Committee (RWC) was formed in 2018 to update and clarify policies created to foster a respectful workplace, to encourage employees to report situations that are not respectful, and to give voice to groups not traditionally represented in policy-making. Working with Monell Human Resources, the RWC surveys all Monellians annually about the prevalence of harassment in the workplace as well as attitudes toward Monell’s procedures. Results are used to update training and policies, such as creating the Diversity Journal Club.

Diversity Journal Club
Monell Diversity Journal ClubThe Diversity Journal Club was formed in June 2020 as part of the Center’s ongoing efforts to combat systemic racism and promote diversity in our workplace and community. This monthly in-house virtual gathering is open to all Monellians to foster an open discussion and share ideas to increase our knowledge and awareness regarding issues of race, discrimination, and diversity. For more information, please contact Karen Kreeger, kkreeger@monell.org.

Monell Science Apprenticeship Program
To date, more than 375 high school and undergraduate students over the last 39 years have spent a summer at Monell, earning a weekly salary and meeting the challenges of serious research responsibilities. The mission of this program is to stimulate an interest in science, particularly in groups typically underrepresented in this area, including females, ethnic or racial minorities, and the economically disadvantaged. Read more here.

Examples of Helpful Resources (Watch this space for updates)

#ShutDownSTEM resource list

Picture a Scientist film

#BlackinNeuro

AChemS Diversity Committee